The Rights of Mental Patients: An Early Crusader
In 1887, investigative journalist Nellie Bly pretended to be insane so that she could report on the conditions in a New York asylum. The results of her sojourn there were the subject of her book Ten Days in a Madhouse and became the catalyst of increased funding for mental institutions.
Now there is a book that recounts an even earlier example of a woman who publicized the conditions in an insane asylum. It has a bearing on the rights of mental patients and involuntary commitment.